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Engineers Fall to Babson in Final Home Game

By Thomas Kettler
Staff Reporter

The MIT men's basketball team lost to Babson Saturday in a game that was closer than the 95-81 score would indicate. The game made the Engineers 7-16 overall and 3-7 in the Constitution Athletic Conference. With the loss, MIT shall be forced to play on the road in the CAC tournament.

In the first 10 minutes of the game, neither team had a rally by shooting baskets effectively from the floor. After that, MIT had a mini run which resulted in a 46-38 lead with 1:49 left in the half. This would end up being the largest lead that the Engineers would have for the game. After that, Babson converted some field goal opportunities, and the half ended with MIT ahead 48-43.

The Engineers shot a reasonable 41 percent from the floor, but the Beavers shot a far better 48 percent. MIT did shoot better at the line, 83 to 67 percent.

Individually, starting forward Joe C. Levesque '95 led the team in scoring with 14 while reserve center Mark E. Heffernan '95 added 12. The other starting forward Tim M. Porter '96 led the team in rebounds with nine while starting center Keith E. Whalen '96 added seven. However, MIT could not contain Babson's leading scorer, guard Michael Kingsley who already had 18 at the half.

The Beavers continued where they left off with a 14-5 run in the first five minutes to lead 57-53. The shot of the game with 15:10 left occurred when Babson's Bryant Richards blew a dunk attempt. Five lead changes and two ties later, MIT got its final lead at 66-64 with a Heffernan field goal. The final tie occurred when reserve forward John N. Fluker '96 made a semi-dunk to tie the game at 72-72 with 7:40 left. Babson responded with a 9-1 run capped by Rory Gardner's field goal in. The closest the Engineers would get was 83-77 with three minutes left in the game. However, Babson took advantage of the late free throws after the Engineers fouled the Beavers to stop the clock.

Shooting from the floor and turnovers ultimately determined the game. Babson continued to shoot well and finished at 49 percent while MIT only shot 39 percent. The Engineers committed seven more turnovers than the Beavers, 21 to 14. And while MIT shot 78 percent at the line versus Babson's 73 percent, the Engineers only went to the line 18 times to the Beavers' 40.

Individually, MIT could not stop Kingsley's 30 points, complemented by reserve Glenn Witkoski's 21. This strongly countered MIT's more balanced scoring which resulted in four players in double figures. Heffernan led with 18, while Levesque had 15, Whalen 13 and starting guard Nikki L. Caruthers '95 11. Porter led the team in rebounds with 13 while Whalen contributed 11. Heffernan lead in blocked shots with five.

"We lost it in the second half. At the 14 minute mark [six minutes left in the second half], we let them score, penetrate the lane, and none of my guards could stop #10 [Michael Kingsley]," head coach Leo Osgood commented. Kingsley had "18 for the first half [and] 39 in the game. ... If not for our bench [Heffernan and Terry Rivers '95], it would have been a 20 point game."